VI, VII is pleased to present “Liver of Sulphur (2016-2022)” a solo exhibition by London-based artist Nicholas Byrne. The exhibition is centered around works produced over a seven-year period and combines painting and drawings in a site-specific installation.
“Liver of Sulphur,” a working title since 2016, refers to the transformative actions of a fume that has a role in oxidation and the acceleration of patinas in all its stages: cuprous oxide, malachite and verdigris.
Byrne’s “Liver of Sulphur” paintings are the result of a patient process. Executed in a series of layers that are drawn back to expose copper, these paintings are a marker of time, changing with the number of breaths in the air.
The front-facing sides of the works are swapped with the back and undersides as surfaces to explore. There is an economy of materials at play, and no waste. A bit of play, a bit of pause and rewind.The baselines interlock with earth tones and color veils to make interiors. Surgical blades carve into flexible red-brown metal. There are shadows and spectrums of color and land masses. A flicker between negative and positive. Shiny and reflecting movement happening in front.
Three diptych drawings (Night Gate I-III, 2021) drawn on silk with dye are the result of day-long exercises, and are enlargements of the preliminary designs for a laser-cut, wrought-iron gate that swings open into a garden. One of these gates has been realized at Studio Voltaire, London where “Night Gate” refers to after-hours access to the institution. This gate created a new opening in a wall that was part of London-based artist Anthea Hamilton’s garden project in 2021.
Here the designs are presented as transparencies in light-weight silk. Double leafed gauzes that assist in reading the flatness of the paintings. One written with knot types has the thinnest lines. The Seizing method brings two disconnected cord ends together as if for lifting or lowering. Two flat concentric coils that could carry. At the water-side entrance, an onion and roots are halved. A wide loop draws from small metal loops stuck in the walls of Nelson’s Row, leading up to the gateway entrance. In a rhythm for reaching. The same asymmetric, striated loops do a folded head in the third Night gate.
Nicholas Byrne (1979, Oldham, U.K) lives and works in London.
Solo and two-person exhibitions include: LOVE, Cold Shower, with Anthea Hamilton, Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin; Finish your sentence, and Roleplay at Vilma Gold, London; Faces, with Nora Schultz, dépendance, Brus- sels; Divider, Studio Voltaire, London.
Notable group exhibitions include Death, Volcano E×travaganza, Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli; The Averty Show, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers; Burning Down the House, with Anthea Hamilton, 10th Gwangju Bienna- le; Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together and Grooving on a Pict, Veneklasen Werner, Berlin; Public Private Paintings, Kunstmuseum Ann Zee, Oostende, The Dark Monarch, Tate St Ives, St Ives.
Byrne’s works are in the Saatchi collection, the Zabludowicz Collection, London and the collection of the Loewe Foundation, Madrid.